MasterCard, Western Union teaming up on prepaid

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NEW YORK (AP) — MasterCard Inc. is teaming up with The Western Union Co. in the fast-growing market for prepaid cards, seeking to make it easier and more convenient to use the reloadable cards globally.

A year after Western Union began issuing prepaid cards bearing the MasterCard logo in the U.S., the companies will begin offering the cards in other countries, with the goal to make it possible for consumers worldwide to use prepaid cards to transfer and spend money.

The alliance will involve linking MasterCard’s processing network and Western Union’s distribution network, which includes 485,000 agents worldwide. Eventually, consumers in more than 200 countries will be able to combine loading money into prepaid card accounts and wiring that money around the world, and in many places use prepaid cards for purchases.